In Wayanad, Rahul Gandhi's namesake entered the fray for fame

In Wayanad, Rahul Gandhi's namesake entered the fray for fame
Ilayanithottathil Rahul Gandhi, the namesake of Rahul Gandhi who contested in Wayanad.

Erumeli: Rahul Gandhi has returned home with 2,110 votes. In Wayanad, where the Congress president won a majority of over 4 lakh votes, his namesake had entered the fray and by his own admission he did it for fame. He stayed in Wayanad for nine days during the polls even as the VIP candidate bearing his name arrived a few times ahead of the election.

The real name of the non-VIP is Ilayanithottathil Rahul Gandhi. He is a resident of Muttappally in Erumeli in Kerala's Kottayam district, which is a few hundred kilometers south of Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency from where the Congress president won the election as the results showed on May 23.

Rahul returned to Muttappally yesterday.

I did it for fame, and there was no pressure from any party, says the 'apolitical' Rahul.

Rahul was a supporter of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) for a while, but has no party affiliations now.

DYFI is the youth wing of the CPM, the main rival of Congress in Kerala.

The Erumeli-based Rahul's father Kunjumon was a staunch Congress supporter. He named his sons Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, the former being India's former prime minister and his son is the latter and the current president of the Congress party.

A student of folklore, the Malayali Rahul is good at folk art and music.

Initially, it was suspected that some political parties had fielded the dummy candidate with ulterior motives. Though efforts were made to contact Rahul then, he dodged those bids.

It is a practice among political parties to field the namesakes of their rival candidate so that the latter loses a few votes when voters fail to make out who is the serious candidate. In close contests the votes a namesake may garner may prove crucial.

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